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Magda Echeverria Linares, General Manager of Panapark Free Zone

PANAMA - Economy

Magda Echeverria Linares

General Manager, Panapark Free Zone

Bio

Magda Echeverria leads operations in Panama at  Panapark Free Zone and has 28 years of work experience, occupying senior management positions. She is trained civil engineer with an MBA in management, finance and real estate valuation, with experience in the financial and banking sector.

"The free zones have an economic impact in various ways, including increasing the country’s exports, which helps to grow the money supply."

Magda Echeverria Linares, General Manager of Panapark Free Zone, spoke with us about innovation, expansion plans, and contributing to the economy.

How is Panapark Free Zone implementing the “built-to-suit” model with its clients?

Magda Echeverria Linares: For us, our established clients are just as important as the clients that we capture from abroad, which are international clients that we approach through different commercial strategies. In terms of our existing clients, we focus on establishing strategies with them in order to attend to their needs and their growth projections. We want to ensure we can guarantee them the space they need to grow in the future, whether it is built to suit or prototype warehouses. The growth of our clients has occurred under both schemes. The locations that we allocate to our clients is based on their operations and how they see their prospects for growth as well as their needs. We talk to them about their growth possibilities and then plan and reserve lots around the area where they are located. They are able to reserve warehouses next to or around them, where their growth can be guaranteed along the way. We tailor the concept of the entire project based on what they require. Not only is the space located with a company’s growth in mind, but it is also built that way, and we give them the keys to grow without limitations.

Do you have plans to expand in the near future?

Magda Echeverria Linares: Our clients are growing, and we design our expansion in anticipation of their growth. Developing our Master Plan in 2 phases, so that in 2022 we will carry out the second phase that will enable 27 hectares more to continue new developments in 2023. Our expansion can also take place according to our clients’ growth. For example, that happens with the Diplomatic Rum group, which is well known in Europe and around the world. It exports from Panama to 110 countries today. It began its import and export processes in 2019 with 6,200sqm at the Free Zone, and today it has 23,000sqm of buildings.

As the largest private free trade zone in Panamá, what role does Panapark Free Zone have within the Panamanian economy?

Magda Echeverria Linares: The free zones have an economic impact in various ways, including increasing the country’s exports, which helps to grow the money supply, as well as boosting employment and the consumption of local services. Panapark impacts on the economy in two ways. Panapark has also had an impact in two ways. The first is on construction, which is an important economic activity worldwide. As developers, we generate direct and indirect employment and consumption of goods and local services that certainly contributes to the economy; however, as free zone operators that attract investment from foreign companies to invest in Panama, we have a double impact. The free trade zone has several financial business models, ranging from selling, where companies can purchase buildings, to leasing. Those companies that lease spaces perhaps make a smaller investment, though they also have to invest in their operations, including the installation of the company, its relocation, and its machinery and equipment as well as direct and indirect employment.. They also contribute to the economy in terms of the exchange of technology and knowledge. Additionally, they have an impact on everything that has to do with the productive cycle in terms of their supply chains with local companies and within the free zone (productive chain). These are all the different ways in which free zones directly impact the country’s economy. Panapark is currently the most active and growing free trade zone today, and because it is private, it moves significant capital from investors as well as foreign companies that are established in the free trade zone. this represents a positive impact on the Panamanian economy.

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